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Jacqueline Reflections from Peru
by Jacqueline Acosta

When I was 11 years old, I came to the United States. My parents and I decided to come and start a new life here. I always kept on mind that is going to be a bit hard to get used the different way of life.

My goal was to be a good student, but there was one thing that stopped from being confident to myself, that was not knowing as much English. I thought about that all the time, and was scared of not complete my goal. All that I could do is just give the best of me.

At 7:00 in the morning. I was ready to go to school. My mind was full of questions, some questions that scared but the only answer was to think positive. My parents and I were heading to the office. There were so many different looking faces. Some were happy, some girls were talking, some boys were talking. They all had something in common.
So many
  different faces!
    ...I was scared
My parents were about to leave, I didn't want them to leave. I was scared. My hands were shaking, but the bell was going to ring soon anyways, so they left.

I entered my classroom. Each desk had a card with a name written on it. I looked for my name, sat in my desk and took a deep breath. I felt prepared cause I knew there were going to be a lot of things that I was going to go through. My teacher welcomed us in a very friendly way. I felt good and liked that very much.

We started the class by giving our names and sharing what we did over the summer. Everybody before me talked perfect English and talked so fast I couldn't even understand them.

Finally the moment came. It was my turn. I said my name and what I did over the summer. When I finished, I looked at everybody and they all understood me. I don't even know how I did it, but I did and it felt great. And that's why I think that knowing how to speak English is very, very important.

Homework seemed very hard for me and took me hours to finish. Is just that everything was in English. There were times when I wanted to give up because I was scared not to be the good student that I was in my own country. My parents always comforted me and told me that everything takes time and that I had to be patient. They were absolutely right.

What Helped the Most
The things that helped learn English is that my teacher talked clearly and slow so I could understand. She always asked if I understood some words, and if I didn't, she would tell me. I think just because of listening to her every single day, my ears were getting used to hear English.

Jacqueline Now I'm starting the 7th grade. Once more I am a good student like in my country. I feel very happy for myself.

The best thing is that my parents are very proud of me. I think all the hard work was worth it because education is the most important fact in my life.

Editor's Note:
  • You can respond to this letter by writing to the editor.
  • Maybe you came from another culture and have your own story to tell.
  • Do you know someone from another culture that would like to tell his or her story?
E-mail your responses:   jrmeads@worldnet.att.net

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Updated September 16, 1999